This was my 1 year anniversary of doing conventions, and what better way to mark the occasion than returning to the Con that started it all for me. Steel City Con in Monroville, PA!!!
I first debuted "War In The Backyard" at Steel City Con last year, and never looked back. Now a year later, Irregular Mischief Publications is up and running, my third "War in the Backyard" novel is on it's way, I'm publishing my first comic book of War in the Backyard here in 2016, and Steel City Con is a blast!
Great Vendors, Artists and Authors fill the entire venue. You name it you can most likely find it here. Amazing Cos-Players roam the aisles stopping for the occasional pic, famous celebrities file in and greet their fans with smiles and autographs, and the mood of the entire event is that of elated GEEKDOM!
I met amazing Cosplayers, Artists, Authors and the like. Dedicated fans return to the booths, and spread the word to others in attendance of the amount of talent that exists in artist alley. Great deals and rare collectibles line each ailse on the retail floor. Every where you turn you can hear discussions of movies, games, tv shows and super heroes. This is where I am happiest. This is Steel City Con!
I have to be honest. If I could just full on GEEK OUT all the time and do Con's, I would. Conventions like Steel City Con are what give me hope and restore my faith in humanity. It doesn't matter what your race, creed, religion or orientation is. Under the roof of a Con, WE ARE ALL EQUALS. In Con, nobody cares about any of that, because we're all GEEKS! We can all relate, find common ground. We're all Fans of this Sci-Fi show, or that comic book. Love to play this video game, or Cos-play and be whoever we want.
Heck Ya, I'm a GEEK. Darn proud of it too. To me, Con is my zen and it's all thanks to my start at Steel City Con! See you at Steel City Con in APRIL 2016!!!!
Oh, yea. I got to meet Jason Mewes! SNOOGINS!!!
If you have never been to a "Toy Show" you're missing out. Just the ability to walk around and see your childhood at every glance is a magnificent nostalgia train ride. The 3rd semi-annual "Too Groovy Toy Show" was no exception. Everywhere I looked I saw pieces of my childhood. G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Transformers, Legos, He-Man, Go-Bots, Hot Wheels, Battlestar Galactica, Video games, Comic books, even sports cards; a person could go bankrupt trying to recapture their youth in this place!
Bob Novotny, Steve Appleby and Patrick Senatro, co-founders of the Too Groovy Toy Show were on scene to manage show as well as sell some of their own wares.
Personally I worked the first two "Too Groovy Toy Shows" selling copies of my "War in the Backyard" novels. I always found it hard to make a profit because I had to restrain myself from spending what I made from my books, on all the awesome toys and collectibles that surrounded me. So this show, I came as a journalist, father and all around Fan Boy! My son who is 5 came with me and it was really cool to tell him about the toys, the cartoons or comics they came from. Which ones I used to have etc...
It was also cool to learn from the vendors about the toys. These guys and gals have a treasure trove of knowledge when it comes to their passions. For instance, The Atari Guy! I learned more about vintage consoles and gaming in 10 minutes of talking to him then I ever thought possible.
"One of the hardest things about selling vintage consoles is getting them functional" he says. "Replacement parts are scarce, and trying to get the more popular titles is a real challenge..." he added. He also gave me a really cool piece of trivia. Did you know that Howard Scott Warshaw, creator and programmer of classic Atari games "E.T., Indiana Jones and Yars" is now a Psychologist in Silicon Valley and focuses on therapy for programmers. To help them deal with burn out and stress? How freaking cool is that?!
It wasn't all vintage and original toys present though. My new friend here took a 1960 Deluxe Toy Company tank and rebuilt the entire thing to include, paint job, wiring and custom gun barrels to make a 12" scale G.I. Joe Mobat tank with 12" Custom "Steeler" Action Figure! I always loved "Steeler" from G. I. Joe! Of course I did, he's from Pittsburgh, PA!
This was the first show in their new venue and the consensus among the vendors and patrons was that the space was ten times better than the first two shows. With more parking available and more vendors attending, the astronomically low price at the door, $2.00; allowed more money to flow between patrons and vendors.
"We have already outgrown this venue. We have over 30 vendors and we're going to need to start finding a bigger space it looks like..." Patrick said. Fellow Blogger, Writer and extremely talented artist Rose Quayle was also on hand selling her #Cronies art. Rose is a very talented artist and writer and you NEED to check out her BLOG Yello80s.
I can't wait until the next show! Pat, Bob; GREAT JOB!
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
Grunt Geeks PODCAST!!!!
Friends of Ours!